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DA: Reporting on child sex cases may be leading to more coming forward

If you think there’s been a rash of child sexual assault cases filed by law enforcement recently, you’re not alone.

A total of five men have been charged with sex crimes against minors in February alone.

“Most of the recent arrests are not from ‘ongoing’ or ‘current’ cases,” District Attorney Rob Greene told the Times Observer. “They are older cases in which victims are feeling more comfortable reporting because they see that we take these cases extremely seriously, old or not.”

The charges filed this month go as far back as allegations of abuse that allegedly occurred between 1986 and 1992. The charges range from rape of a child to statutory sexual assault to child pornography offenses among others.

All of the victims have been juvenile females.

Greene suggested that news reporting on these cases may be part of what is bringing additional cases to the surface.

“A child predator will never change his stripes and will always be a child predator,” he said. “When victims see cases being reported, I think they feel more confident to come forward and that is why when there is one case reported, it gets people (and) victims talking and more cases tend to follow.”

He called that his “best guess” as to the recent series of resorts.

“I encourage anyone who (has) ever been a victim of sexual assault as a child to come forward,” he said. “A child who was sexually assaulted typically has until they are 50-years-old to report the crime.”

He said people coming forward might “be saving additional children from being violated.”

He acknowledged that delayed reports make “prosecution much harder, but delayed reporting is typical with child sexual assaults for obvious reasons.

“My office will do everything we can to put child molesters behind bars for as long as possible, no matter how difficult or old the case may be.”

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